BG school board talks about teachers, task forces & transparency

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green Board of Education heard some tough talk on Tuesday about teachers leaving the district, huge community task forces, and mysterious phone surveys asking local residents how they voted on the last school bond issue. With school starting in six weeks, Superintendent Francis Scruci noted that the district had hired 25 new teachers. During exit interviews with outgoing teachers, the two most common reasons given for leaving the district were the salaries and the perceived lack of support from the community on the last two bond issues. “We’re losing young teachers,” Scruci said. “We’re losing them to neighboring districts.” The hope is that the community support issue may be resolved with two task forces being formed to come up with solutions to the district’s building issues and financing of those buildings. David Conley, of Rockmill Financial, has been hired by the district to help find answers. Conley reported to the board Tuesday on updates in the task force effort. “This is really exciting, for a lot of people to start over and have the opportunity to be involved,” he said. Conley presented the most recent numbers of people joining the task forces, with 94 signing up for the facilities group, and 64 signing up for the finance group. “To me, that’s really, really nice,” he said. “This is intended to be an inclusive process.” School board member Bill Clifford questioned if the size of the task forces would make them difficult to manage. “You can’t have too many people,” Conley said, adding that leadership, positivity, and genuine participation make it work. However, he noted that if members of a task force aren’t working sincerely on the goals, they can be asked to leave the group. “This is the community’s task force, not the board’s task force,” he said. Members of the task force will not agree on everything, but they will at least represent the diverse feelings of the community, Conley said. The first gathering of the task forces will be a joint meeting of both groups on Aug. 28, at 7 p.m., in one of the school cafeterias. The meeting, which is expected to last an hour, will cover the ground rules of the task force process. Conley will be the facilitator of the finance task force. He is still searching for someone to lead the facilities task force. He is looking for someone from outside the district who has some knowledge of school facilities and construction. The person must be “independent.” “There’s a lot of emotion around this process,” he said. Later in the meeting, citizen Bud Henschen, an outspoken opponent of the school bond issues, suggested that the task forces have co-facilitators representing those for and against the last levies on the ballot. He also said the facilitators should not be “outsiders.” “You don’t want to see it go down again,” Henschen warned the school board. Clifford said he initially thought the same, but the board has been advised that the facilitators be unbiased. Henschen also scolded the board for not being transparent – by not telling the community about a phone survey being conducted asking citizens how they voted on the school bond issues. “Did you hire someone to do a survey,” he asked. School Board President…

More than 100 sign up to join BG School task forces

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   More than 100 citizens have signed up to help find the best path forward for Bowling Green City Schools. An email went out Friday to the 117 people who have agreed to serve on two task forces created to study future school facilities and how they will be financed. “Both are big,” school finance consultant David Conley said of the task forces. But he is not concerned about the citizen groups being so large that they are cumbersome or complicate the process. “As long as the participants involved are sincere,” the size of the task forces will not be unmanageable, Conley said on Saturday. “It’s only difficult if people aren’t sincere about the process.” Conley said he has worked with task forces numbering more than 100 people in two other school districts – Rootstown and Lexington. Like Bowling Green, those school districts had to make decisions about the future of multiple buildings. The notice sent out last week suggested the first gathering be a joint meeting of both the facilities and financial task forces on Aug. 28, at 7 p.m. The primary goals will be to set up ground rules for how the task forces will operate, review the purposes of the task forces, and establish an estimated timeline. Conley will be serving as facilitator of the financial task force. A facilitator for the facilities group has not yet been selected. Conley is searching for a person with general experience in construction, who is not a resident of the Bowling Green School District. “It would be helpful if it’s someone who can leave their feelings out of it,” he said. “I’m dead set on finding a good candidate.” Conley predicted the process – for determining the future of school facilities and how they will be paid for – will not be quick. “I fully anticipate this being a year,” he said. “There’s a lot of work to be done. A lot of clarity needed. It’s absolutely worth it.” Not only will the task forces need to make decisions on multiple building issues, but the district also needs to overcome the divide that formed during the last two levy attempts, Conley said. The goal of the task forces is to work together to find a solution. “They have to be sincere and genuine about working toward a common goal,” he said. The ground rules of the task forces will require all members to focus on a common cause. Disagreement will be welcomed. However, if a member is disruptive and trying to undermine the process, that person can be asked to leave the group, Conley said. The task forces will establish their own meeting schedules, which will include at least monthly meetings. “They might actually want to meet more frequently,” he said. For those who can’t attend the task force meetings, the gatherings will be made available via Facebook Live for either simultaneous or delayed viewing. The facilities group will study the condition of the district’s buildings now and consider future curriculum requirements. Ultimately, the group will decide if the district should renovate old buildings, build new schools, or a combination of the two. The facilities task force will take guided tours of the five Bowling Green school buildings, hear from state experts about…

Toledo Museum of Art recruiting docents

From TOLEDO MUSEUM OF ART Toledo Museum of Art (TMA) is opening recruitment for its docent program. Those who have a passion for teaching and sharing the arts with children are encouraged to apply to the upcoming docent training class. Docents are trained Museum volunteers who engage with visitors to facilitate enriched experiences with works of art and create a warm and welcoming Museum environment. These “gallery teachers” encourage visitor inquiry and enjoyment of the arts. The 2019 docent class will include: A calendar year worth of training Becoming a docent gives the opportunity to participate in a thorough training process. Training will take place from January through December 2019 and will include mentorship from experienced docent peers. Training for specific groups Participants will attend classroom and gallery training sessions to become familiar with the TMA collection and gain skills to connect PreK-8 students with works of art. The training program includes specific training for the PreK-8 school tour program. Convenient training hours Training sessions will be held weekdays to coincide when school tours take place. For further information, please visit and attend an information session on Aug. 9, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Applications are now being accepted and interviews will take place late August and early September. Classes will officially begin January 2019.

County Job & Family Services distributing school supplies

From WOOD COUNTY JOB AND FAMILY SERVICES The Wood County Department of Job and Family Services is now accepting applications for the K-12 Fitted for Success program for the 2018-2019 school year.  This is the third year for the program. 400 children who live in Wood County will be provided with backpacks filled with grade appropriate school supplies and vouchers for the purchase of new shoes and socks. Assistance is provided on a first come/first serve basis.  Proof of household income, Birth Certificates or other proof of citizenship and Social Security cards for all family members as well as verification of school enrollment for children must be provided.  Families must have an income at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level to qualify. For a family of 4, this is 4,180 or less in gross income per month. The income amount varies based on family size. Applications should be received by July 31, 2018 but be accepted until 400 children are approved.  Backpacks and vouchers will be distributed to approved families in early August. Interested families may contact 419-352-7566 ext. 8492 to request an application to be sent by mail or with questions on eligibility.  Applications may also be picked up at Wood County DJFS at 1928 East Gypsy Lane Road Bowling Green, OH.

WCESC taps veteran Ohio educator as new superintendent

The Wood County Educational Service Center Governing Board voted unanimously today to extend a three-year superintendent’s contract to Mr. Mark North of Fairborn, Ohio, the board has announced. North has been a special education teacher, assistant principal, principal, and assistant superintendent. He has served more than 20 years serving as a superintendent. He has experience in rural areas, suburban communities and city school districts. North has earned numerous awards and recognition, the most recent being named the 2018 Outstanding Superintendent of the Ohio School Boards Association Southwest Conference. In hiring him the governing board cited his collaborative style. “He believes that the Wood County Educational Service Center can further develop through participation, support and increased services for staff and students throughout Wood County.” In July, Mr. North will be moving to Wood County with his family. He plans on meeting as many people as soon as possible who can create more opportunities and better programming for students throughout Wood County and beyond. Ohio has 52 Educational Service Centers. They are dedicated to providing school districts with professional development, technology, support, planning, and administrative services that help improve student learning, enhance the quality of instruction and maximize operating and fiscal efficiencies. The WCESC is governed by a publicly-elected board of education.

BGSU camp leads young women down the path of business

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Sitting in the classroom in the college of business, 35 high school seniors seemed poised to develop the next big idea. For now they are trying to turn trash into musical instruments. The students are at Bowling Green State University for the Young Women in Business Leadership Camp being held this week. Kirk Kern, the director of the entrepreneurship program on campus, is cheerleading their efforts and aspirations. Entrepreneurs aren’t just men like Steve Jobs and Henry Ford, he tells them. Their ranks also include Isabella Weems. When Weems was 14, younger than the campers, she decided she wanted to save to buy a car. Her parents told her she’d have to earn the money. She had a choice: She could get a job or start her own business. With her parents backing, Weems started Origami Owl, making personalized pendants. The product took off. She earned more than enough to buy a car. By 2016 the company had sales of $25 million. Susan Kosakowski, the recruiting manager for the College of Business, said the residential camp has two goals. The first is “to help young ladies develop their leadership skills so they can take those back to their high schools and then continue them through their college years.” The other is to make them aware of the opportunities in business for women, she said. Even though about 55 percent of the undergraduate students at BGSU are female, in the College of Business two-thirds are. The college, Kosakowski said, would like to see more diversity, not only in gender but ethnicity and culture as well. “We have so many opportunities we want the women to start taking advantage of them,” she said. “People get very closed minded about what’s involved in business. Every time you walk in a store you’re engaged in business.” The camp aims to show young women how business impacts their lives. The entrepreneurship program is one draw for women, she said. Students from any major can minor in entrepreneurship. The program’s signature event The Hatch, where budding entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to potential investors, attracts as many women as men – six of 10 participants this year were women. The Hatch also draws interest from across the university, from photochemical science to music, including graphic design, apparel merchandising, and early childhood education. The students attending the camp had a similarly wide range of interests. Madelyn Krueger, Pettisville, is interested in being a chef, and she envisions opening her own restaurant someday. Nadia Jeelani, Cincinnati, is interested political science, and her advisor suggested she attend so she can learn about how business works. Rebecca Rust, Hillsboro, said she plans to double major in anthropology and chemistry, but she feels the skills gained at the camp will help her whatever she decides to pursue. Those skills included dining etiquette – “what’s proper, and what’s not proper,” Jeelani said – as well as instruction on business dress. All three said they appreciated the session on negotiating salaries. The time to start addressing the wage gap between women and men is at the beginning, Rust said. Kosakowski said that having the students stay on campus was important. “They are seniors starting seriously considering college. We’re giving them a taste of what college life is like.”…

BG School Board takes back seat to citizen task forces

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green Board of Education handed the car keys over to the community Monday evening. After two failed attempts to pass a $72 million school bond issue for buildings, the board has now put the community in the driver’s seat. Approximately 150 citizens met in the school’s performing arts center to listen to where the district goes from here. Board President Jill Carr invited citizens to sign up for one or both of two task forces being formed – one to study school facilities and the other to study finances. The task forces will set their own meeting schedules, decide what information they need, and report back to the board. “This will be a community-driven process,” Carr said. “The board will step back.” Though the administration and board will make requested information available to the task forces, they will take a back seat in the process, Superintendent Francis Scruci said. The goal is to come up with a “solution that the community can support,” Scruci said. “Regardless of which side you stood on in November and May.” The district is at a “critical juncture,” the superintendent said, urging the community to work together, and refrain from name calling and personal attacks. “We need to rise above for the good of all,” Scruci said. The process of putting the community in charge of building projects and funding is quite unusual, according to David Conley, an expert in school finance hired by the district earlier this year. But it has been done by about 10 of Ohio’s 600 school districts, Conley said. In those 10 cases, most of the districts ended up winning at the ballot, he added. The task forces will identify the needs of the district, then decide how to pay for those improvements. Conley will act as facilitator for the finance task force. The facilitator for the facilities group has not yet been selected. “You’re being given the power to make the decisions for the district,” he said to the audience. Conley cautioned that anyone joining a task force should make a commitment of at least six months, with one or two meetings each month. He also warned that those unwilling to work on the project have no right to complain later. “Don’t criticize the result of the work of the committees after the fact,” he said. “Don’t sit at home and expect someone else to do the job for you.” Conley talked about the duties of each task force, which will start their work in August. The facilities group will study the condition of the district’s buildings now and consider future curriculum requirements. Ultimately, the group will decide if the district should renovate old buildings, or build new schools, or a combination of the two. The facilities task force will take guided tours of the five Bowling Green school buildings, hear from state experts about facilities assessments done on the buildings, and visit other Ohio districts that have renovated old buildings and constructed new schools. “Then you can formulate your ideas of what you want for your kids,” Conley said. The task force will work with the district’s architect on proposals and come up with cost estimates. That information will then go to the financial task force, which will figure…

BGSU & OSU heads: Higher education a wise investment

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Several decades ago, college was affordable for a few, and a dream for all the others. A few decades later, college was the place kids were expected to go to start their futures. Now, the pendulum has swung back again, with college costs and job prospects leading to a push in the trades. But BGSU President Rodney Rogers and OSU President Michael Drake held a public conversation Wednesday evening about the lasting value of higher education. “Higher education is a value to young people, a value to our communities, a value to our state,” said State Senator Randy Gardner, R-Bowling Green, who moderated the conversation. A college degree makes a person more employable, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate for someone with a master’s degree is 2.2 percent; a bachelor’s degree is 2.5 percent; an associate’s degree is 3.4 percent; and a high school education, 6.8 percent. And more than 80 percent of the country’s top 100 jobs require a bachelor’s degree. “There’s real value there,” said Gardner, who both Rogers and Drake called a strong advocate for higher education. A college degree also results in bigger paychecks. It offers a better annual return for investment (average 13.7 percent) than the stock market (average 10 percent), Drake said. “It’s really about the best investment a person can make in their future,” the OSU president said. Over a lifetime, that investment averages more than $1 million more in earnings, he added. The perks go beyond the paychecks, Drake said. People with college educations are more likely to rank themselves as happy, are healthier, live longer, and are more engaged in their communities, Drake said. Drake asked those in the audience to envision a map of the U.S. – then put their fingers on a couple areas of great innovation, like Silicon Valley, Boston, or the Research Triangle. “Under your fingers are great universities,” he said. Rogers noted the BGSU alumni who are doing great things in their communities. “That is a part of what drives our state, our region and our communities,” he said. Ohio’s 14 public universities are places where ideas are discussed – places that help inform the public debate. “That is the power of universities,” Rogers said. “We are making Ohio a better place. We need to embrace it. We create public good.” But state budgeting is an issue. In the 1980s, state funding made up 60 percent of university budgets. That number is now closer to 23 percent. “We seem to almost write budgets by anecdotes,” Gardner said. Legislators hear of someone’s child earning a four-year diploma then having to take a job as a janitor. They hear stories of too many people going into higher education, and degrees being worthless. “People say that, but the statistics don’t yield that,” he said. Higher education must show that it is relevant. “That’s what universities need to be evermore,” Gardner said. Gardner believes in the “all of the above” education strategy for the state – with emphasis on the trades, community colleges, bachelor, master and doctorate programs. “Whatever students and families want,” should be available in Ohio, he said. “We should open their eyes earlier to all the options open to them.” Gardner praised efforts to…

Storytime in BG – little lending libraries put books in neighborhoods

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green has a story to share – several in fact, at the little lending libraries showing up in neighborhoods throughout the city. Anything that makes books easier to access is good, according to Zeb Kellough, Bowling Green City Schools elementary curriculum coordinator. “The more we have our students with books in their hands, the more they are going to read,” he said. Kellough talked about the new little libraries during the school board meeting Tuesday evening. “Our hope is our families and children can access literature and go back to the well,” he said. That’s exactly the purpose of little lending libraries. The tiny wooden houses offer books to anyone and asks that they be returned when finished. Bowling Green City Schools already had one at each elementary school. Now there are 11 more throughout the community. “It started out pretty simple,” with Habitat for Humanity asking if the school would be interested in the little libraries that had been constructed as part of Martin Luther King Day observance, Kellough said. Since the elementaries had them, Kellough sent out word to the community to see if anyone would be interested in hosting a little lending library in their front yard. “Can we offer it out to citizens in Bowling Green,” he thought. The response was overwhelming, with people being very willing to adopt the libraries. “We got plenty of responses back,” he said. Some people wanted to paint the libraries themselves, while others had Girl Scouts do the artwork. The libraries are not just in the city, but also in areas of the school district in the more rural areas of Georgetown, Cogan’s Crossing and the Sugar Ridge area. “We have these located strategically throughout the area,” Kellough said. “I want to say thank you to the Bowling Green community,” Kellough said. “Please put books in and take them, too.” Helping with the library project were Bowling Green City Schools, Habitat for Humanity of Wood County, BG Rotary, BGSU, Maria Simon of Wood County District Public Library, Senior Girl Scout Troop 10149 and Home Depot. Little Library locations include: 756 Roscommon Street 1131 Sandpiper Lane 18877 Mercer Road 540 West Poe Road at PAC 1018 Revere Drive 18991 Roanoke Drive 215 Pike Avenue 347 North Maple Street 203 Ada Avenue 618 Wallace Avenue 1450 Devonshire Street Also at the meeting, Melanie Garbig, executive director of pupil services, talked about programs like special education, gifted services, English language services and preschool. Garbig talked about efforts to increase mental health support for students and their families. The district is working to provide early intervention counseling and therapy beyond what is already being done by counselors. And support is being offered to teaching staff. “They are the ones in the trenches,” she said. The district receives support from Children’s Resource Center and the Wood County Educational Service Center, and plans to add time when therapists are available to students. “We really wanted to provide more services for the coming school year,” Garbig said. Early intervention is being offered for younger students, and teen institutes help older students will life skills. Trauma and mental health first aid training is being provided for all staff, including bus drivers, kitchen and maintenance staff. And a support group…

BG Schools trying for fresh start on building issue

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green Board of Education President Jill Carr tried to wipe the slate clean Tuesday evening. She invited all those present at the school board meeting to return Monday at 6:30 p.m., in the Performing Arts Center to get involved in the district’s future. “We look forward to a strong turnout to this very important meeting,” Carr said. But the slate was smudged later in the evening when a citizen accused the board of violating Ohio Sunshine Laws by hiring a consultant without any public discussion. Early in the meeting, it was explained that after the last two failed election attempts to get new buildings in the district, the board is trying a new strategy. Carr and Superintendent Francis Scruci said that this time around, the board and administration will take a hands-off approach. During Monday’s meeting, two committees will be created – one on finances and another on facility planning. Citizens will be able to join either or both. Those committees will present updates at monthly board meetings. Anyone unable to attend the Monday meeting, but wanting to join a committee can sign up in the central office or email Scruci. Six weeks have passed since the last levy failed, Scruci said. “It’s very important for us to move forward,” he said. Though disappointed in the results, Scruci said “we must now regroup and work together” with those who supported and those who opposed the bond issue. “The work that is ahead will be important,” he said. “We need to identify what our community wants for facilities.” Scruci and the board will attend meetings if asked, and will provide information if requested. No one has been assigned to either of the committees yet. “We felt that it was important that we did not have people named,” he said. “This is going to truly be a community-driven process,” Scruci said. Board member Bill Clifford asked if the committees will be limited to a certain number. “Sometimes size can slow down the process,” he said. “If you have 100 people on a committee, you’re going to have a hard time.” But Scruci said there will be no limits to committee members. Also at Tuesday’s meeting, the school board voted to reaffirm the resolution hiring Rockmill Financial Consulting.  The board had voted to hire the firm, led by David Conley, for $40,000 for the year, at an April 19 meeting with no public discussion. Each member of the board said they wished the timing of hiring Conley would have been different – not just a couple weeks before the May election. But all the members also said that Conley’s expertise was valuable in the community discussions about property versus income tax support of the building project. The board said Conley provided expertise on school finances that was very helpful. Board member Ginny Stewart said Conley proved to be responsive to citizens and will continue to help the district through the next step. “He has fielded every single phone call, every email,” she said. “He’s going to be there every step of the way.” But during the public portion of Tuesday’s meeting, Brian Smith read from board emails and accused the board of improperly hiring Conley before the actual board vote on April 19. “David…

Group opposed to school levy turns in campaign finances

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   The citizens group opposed to the Bowling Green City Schools levy in May has filed its campaign finance report with the Wood County Board of Elections. The filing deadline for campaign finance information from the May primary election was Friday at 4 p.m. The reports list those who contributed to election efforts, and how that money was spent. The group supporting the school levy made the deadline, but group opposed to the levy did not. However, when the board of elections arrived to work this morning, the report had been emailed in. The group opposed the levy – Wood County Citizens Against Higher Property Tax, with Grant Chamberlain as treasurer – reported receiving $7,267.62 since the first filing.  Following are the contributions listed to the anti-levy campaign: Irene Hinesman, $50 Douglas Seiple, $1,000 SLD Rentals, $300 David Apple, $1,000 Dudley Dauterman, $1,000 Gregory W. Bils, $400 Dan Hoffmann, $100 Robert Strow, $100 Sonja Chamberlain, $250 Thomas Carpenter, $250 Harold Moore, $500 Tad Yarger, $100 John H. Herringshaw, $200 Fine Vines LLC, $1,500 Gary Herringshaw, $200 Stephen C. Bateson, $200 Eric T. Lause, $50 Grant Chamberlain, $67.62 The group in favor of the school levy – Citizens in Support of Our Schools, with Andy Newlove as treasurer – reported receiving $3,600 in contributions since the April filing.  Following is a list of the donations to the pro-levy campaign: Becca Ferguson, $100 David Codding, $2,500 Control Systems of Ohio, $1,000 According to the Ohio Campaign Finance Handbook, if a required report is filed late, then the county board of elections or the secretary of state must refer the PAC to the Ohio Elections Commission. The commission determines if a fine should be imposed. Both pro and anti school levy groups filed the initial required campaign finance reports at the end of April. Those reports showed the contributions and expenditures through the period up to 20 days before the election. The post election reports due last Friday showed the money taken in and spent following the first report filed in April. In the initial reports, the anti-levy group had raised $10,866 from nine donors. The pro-levy group had raised $14,175 from 32 donors. Campaign finance law requires any Political Action Committee to report its finances. The reports must include where the money comes from – both in financial contributions and in-kind donations which are products or services that benefit the cause.

Group against BG school levy fails to file finance report

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   The citizens group opposed to the Bowling Green City Schools levy in May has failed to file its campaign finance report with the Wood County Board of Elections. Friday at 4 p.m. was the statewide deadline for political action committees to file reports listing those who contributed to election efforts, and how that money was spent. The group that supported the school levy – Citizens in Support of Our Schools, with Andy Newlove as treasurer – filed its report on Friday morning. The group against the levy – Wood County Citizens Against Higher Property Tax, with Grant Chamberlain as treasurer – did not submit its report by the deadline. It is unusual for a PAC to not comply with the Ohio Revised Code requirement, said Carol DeJong, director at the Wood County Board of Elections. “I have not had this experience with a PAC that didn’t file,” especially on such a high-profile election issue, DeJong said on Friday after the deadline passed. The penalty for not filing can be up to $100 a day, she added. According to the Ohio Campaign Finance Handbook, if a required report is filed late, then the county board of elections or the secretary of state must refer the PAC to the Ohio Elections Commission. The commission determines if a fine should be imposed. Both pro and anti school levy groups filed the initial required campaign finance reports at the end of April. Those reports showed the contributions and expenditures through the period up to 20 days before the election. The post election reports due Friday are to show the money taken in and spent following the first report filed in April. In their initial reports, the anti-levy group had raised $10,866 from nine donors. The pro-levy group had raised $14,175 from 32 donors. In the campaign finance report filed Friday by the Citizens in Support of Our Schools, three contributions were recorded: Becca Ferguson, $100; David Codding, $2,500; and Control Systems of Ohio, $1,000. Wood County Board of Elections Director Terry Burton explained in April that campaign finance law requires any Political Action Committee to report its finances. The reports must include where the money comes from – both in financial contributions and in-kind donations which are products or services that benefit the cause. The school levy was a highly controversial issue, and failed for the second time in May. Reporting of the campaign contributors raised some concerns by citizens who felt that information should be private or should not be reported until after the election. However, the Ohio Revised Code requires the campaign contributions to be filed so the public is aware of where campaigns are getting their money and how it is spent.

Scruci asks city to join in solution for school district

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green Superintendent Francis Scruci invited city leaders Monday evening to get involved in school business. Scruci asked those attending City Council to put June 25 on their calendars. Since the school district’s bond issue has been rejected twice by voters, the board is taking a different approach. “Our board is committed to finding out what our community will support,” he said. So a community task force open meeting will be held June 25, at 6:30 p.m., in the school’s performing arts center. “It’s going to be turned over to the community,” Scruci said. City Council President Mike Aspacher thanked the superintendent for the invitation to join in the process. “We’ve all been supportive of your efforts in the past,” Aspacher said. Also at Monday’s meeting, Mayor Dick Edwards expressed regret that the “celebrity guest” expected to attend the meeting was unable to make it. But the mayor revealed his intentions to declare June 15 as Jerry Anderson Day in Bowling Green, in honor of the newscaster’s last day at WTOL-11. Anderson got his start in broadcasting 44 years ago at WFOB radio here in Bowling Green, Edwards said. Since then, he has helped many community groups with fundraising, either by acting as auctioneer or emcee. His generosity has been “totally amazing,” the mayor said. Edwards also mentioned all the positive national publicity Bowling Green is receiving since the general managers of both hockey teams in the Stanley Cup are Bowling Green State University hockey alums.  The men, both from the same town in Canada, both played under BGSU Coach Jerry York, and were roommates for three years. George McPhee is now with the Las Vegas Golden Knights, and the Brian MacLellan is with the Washington Capitals. Ryan Carpenter, a more recent BGSU hockey standout, is playing for the Golden Knights. And Mike “Doc” Emrick, who earned his doctorate at BGSU, has been mentioning the many BGSU connections during this play-by-play announcing. In other business, Public Works Director Brian Craft was asked to give an overview of the city’s new brush collection program. The pickups used to be every spring and fall, then were reduced to once in the fall. Now the brush pickups are upon request, with four options of April, May, September and October. In May, the city got 320 requests for pickups, Craft said. Though not always convenient, Craft said if people missed those months, the city will return in September and October. “We’ll come back around in the fall if you can hang onto it,” he said. Large item collections have also changed, with residents being eligible for two pickups a year, of up to five items, for no charge. These pickups are available any time of the year, as long as people call to request. This change is much more efficient, Craft said, since the workers know exactly where the large items are that need picking up. Also at the meeting, City Attorney Mike Marsh complimented the city public works crew for the appearance of Oak Grove Cemetery on Memorial Day. Craft thanked Marsh. “This is the time of year when you get done mowing and it’s time to start over again,” he said. Parks and Recreation Director Kristin Otley reminded council of the Art in the…

BGHS gets good grade for preparing students for future

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green High School has been recognized by a national organization for preparing its students for life after high school graduation. “It was good news this morning,” Bowling Green Superintendent Francis Scruci said of the award from GreatSchools, a national nonprofit organization that provides parents with information about pre-kindergarten-12 schools and education. The website provides ratings based on test scores and a variety of other factors for schools in all 50 states. The recognition was based on college-readiness and how well the students do once they are in college. “They follow that data,” Scruci said of the information collected for the awards. “I think it speaks to the things going on in Bowling Green High School and the Middle School,” Scruci said. A total of 814 schools in nine states were recognized. “It’s a nice feature in the district’s cap to be included,” the superintendent said. Other area schools to make the list are Ottawa Hills, Perrysburg, Sylvania Northview, Sylvania Southview, and Toledo School for the Arts. “That’s a pretty good group to be a part of,” Scruci said. All were honored for having a successful track record of helping their graduating students succeed in college. GreatSchools reported it selected high schools based on college preparation, enrollment and performance. The award-winning high schools stood out based on school-level post-secondary data collected and shared by each state. The organization compiled data including college entrance exam scores and participation rates, college enrollment rates, the percentage of students enrolled in remedial courses in college, and college persistence rates. “We’ve put more emphasis on college-prep curriculum,” with more classes added, Scruci said. “We want to get them as well prepared for their futures, whatever that might be,” he said. As of July 2017, the GreatSchools database contained information on more than 138,000 public, private, and charter schools in the U.S. With the list of College Success Award winners, GreatSchools had the following statement: “A high-quality public education should empower today’s young people with the skills they need to forge a path to bright futures. With this in mind, GreatSchools is proud to announce the winners of the 2018 College Success Award. This honor recognizes 814 high schools across nine states that have a successful track record of going beyond simply graduating students to helping them enroll in college and succeed once they get there. “The College Success Award-winning high schools stand out based on school-level postsecondary data collected and shared by their states. This data tells us whether students enroll in college, are ready for college-level coursework, and persist on to their second year. The award-winning schools are located in nine states where this postsecondary data is available: Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri and Ohio.”  

Presentations to BG school board accentuate the positive

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Meeting for the last time of the school year, the Bowling Green Board of Education had a lot of students to recognize. A few will be among the 217 seniors who will graduate Sunday at 2 p.m., and others are in the early stages of their school careers. The recognition started, though, by recognizing four professional women who volunteer with the Girls Who code program. Jodi Anderson, secondary curriculum coordinator, said this was the club’s first year at the Middle School. It encourages girls to explore computer and other technology careers. Lexi Marshall, Sarah Beamer, Jami Sunday, and Laura Johns were honored for spending 90 minutes a week working with middle school students and being role models as women with careers in technology. Next up were the participants in the model UN introduced by Mary Kern, the club’s advisor. Members recognized were:  Hannah Bowlus, Kerica Bucks, Alison Cramer, Bob Walters, Matthew Fyfe, Jesse He, Dawson Wohler, Cameron Froemming, Eddy Becker, Elijah Poetzinger, and Dana Kleman. The team competed in three conferences, including sending eight members to Harvard for an international event. The team took the top prize at a Model UN event at Ohio Northern, and did very well in the concluding event at Ohio State University. Seventh Grade science teacher Paula Williams introduced four students who decided to activate their learning. Adam Brian, Jacob Baumgardner, Benjamin Bates, and Zachary Hartman were part of the class that went out to test water on the Portage River. Afterward, they wanted to do something to promote water quality. Jacob and Adam designed t-shirts to promote the issue. Ben and Zach decided, since plastic shopping bags are seen as a scourge on the environment, to design and sell reusable shopping bags with the school’s mascot on them. They even had them for sale at the meeting. Williams also presented seventh grader Emma Ferguson who created an award-winning billboard design in a contest sponsored by the county Solid Waste Management District. Her billboard urged people to be clean water superheroes. Seven students from the Penta DECA program and the marketing class taught by Cara Maxey were recognized for qualifying to attend DECA’s International Career Development Conference. That included Sean O’Donnell and Jake Stucker who took second place at the conference for their idea for a water filtration system. (See story. Five other students competed at the international conference including Makai Ruffin, Kloe Atwood, Alyssa Lang, Trisha Stichler, and Ayla Arrington. Ruffin, the BG DECA president, said that traveling to Atlanta for the international conference was a great experience because they got to meet people from around the country and around the world. Maxey said 50 percent of 46 students from BG who competed at the district level earned a trip to the state conference. Laura Weaver, coordinator of gifted services, had the largest group. She introduced 26 students in the P.A.C.E. Enrichment program who participated in the Perennial Math Competition that takes place November through February. Students must do more than compute. They have to use logic to dissect a problem to figure out how to come up with the answer using algebra and geometry. The tests are given in three levels: rookie, for 3rd and 4th graders; intermediate for 5th and 6th graders; and advanced for…